(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)
In his book Screwtape Letters where an underling demon learns how to trip up Christians so as to render them useless for the kingdom of God, Lewis introduces the sinister idea of “Christianity and” where one’s faith is bound up in something in addition to their faith, so that one’s faith can be made to support just about anything, even that which would be in conflict to the true nature of following Christ and His teachings.
Examples of this would be:
Christianity and wealth
Christianity and the American dream
Christianity and family values
Christianity and power
Christianity and anti-abortion
Christianity and politics.
Or looking back on our past in this country, one would have to include:
Christianity and capitalism
Christianity and slavery
Christianity and white supremacy.
There is a lot that could go here because we have mixed our faith up with much that is cultural and not necessarily biblical. Sometimes not even close. We need to learn to strip our faith away from our culture to get at what Jesus wants us to do.
For instance, James says, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you” (James 1:27). Pure and genuine religion is caring for orphans and widows? How much of that do we do? And refusing to let the world corrupt us would be getting rid off those “and’s” we’re talking about that are attached to our faith. Looks to me like we have some work to do.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to come up with your own list of “Christianity and _____________.” Let’s see what we can find out together about what has invaded our faith and gotten us off track.